Predicting the Top 5 Offenses This Season

Will the Chiefs top the list once again?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

The 2021 NFL season is now less than 3 weeks away. The preseason is halfway completed and rosters are being finalized as teams prepare for week 1 of the regular season. Now is as good a time as any to start projecting how productive each team will be this year. In particular, let’s predict who the top offenses in the NFL can be this season, counting down from 5th place and continuing all the way to the number one spot.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defending Super Bowl champion Bucs finished last season as the 7th ranked offense in the NFL with 384.1 yards per game. This is very impressive considering it was the first year for Tom Brady in a brand new style of offense. Going from the “Patriot way” to the air it out style of Bruce Arians is a drastic change so it took Brady a few weeks before he really got things rolling last year. Now that he has had a full season and offseason to learn the new system and tweak it a bit to fit his own style, it is likely that the Bucs offense will take a step forward this season. They are returning pretty much their entire championship roster from 2020 so another year of chemistry should work in their favor as well. Their combination of weapons is one of the best in the entire league, including one of the top wide receiving groups in the NFL of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. They helped lead the Bucs to the second best passing offense last year with 289.1 yards per game.

4. Buffalo Bills

The Bills finished the 2020 season tied for the second ranked offense with 396.4 yards per game. Most of this was due to the MVP caliber play of quarterback Josh Allen who really had a break out season. He put up by far the best numbers of his career throwing the ball, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 4544 yards and 37 touchdowns, which were all new career highs. It appears that one of the main keys to unlocking his potential was the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs. In his first year in Buffalo, he had the best season of his career while leading the NFL in both receptions with 127 and receiving yards with 1535. The chemistry between Allen and Diggs appears to be extremely strong and this combination should have the Bills as one of the top offenses for many years to come. Having the creativity of one of the top young offensive coordinators in Brian Daboll definitely helps them as well.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Last season the Chiefs finished as the top offense in football by an incredible margin of nearly 20 yards per game over second place. To show just how wide that gap is, the separation between the second and 12th place offenses was 20 yards. Clearly the Chiefs offense at 415.8 yards per game was absolutely dominant last season and as long as they keep their core together there is no reason at all to believe that they won’t be in the top five every season. The combination of Andy Reid at head coach with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback is a seemingly perfect match, as demonstrated by finishing as the number one ranked offense in two out of their three seasons together. They have the best “tight end” in football with Travis Kelce and one the top, and fastest, wide receivers in Tyreek Hill. Also, second year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire should take a step forward this year as a true dual threat now that he is more comfortable in this system.

2. Tennessee Titans

Tied for second last season on offense with the Bills were the Titans. Unlike the Bills who relied heavily on their passing game, it was the rushing game in Tennessee that was the key to their success. They ranked second in rushing yards per game with 168.1 while superstar running back Derrick Henry eclipsed the 2000 yard mark. In addition, Ryan Tannehill is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL and his fourth ranked QBR of 78.3 demonstrates that. To make this great offense even better than it already was, the Titans added Julio Jones this offseason to pair with emerging star AJ Brown in what is now one of the best wide receiver tandems in the entire league. In just two season, Brown already has accumulated 122 receptions for 2126 yards and 19 touchdowns in the passing game. Jones, who is one of the best receivers of the past decade, recorded 1000 or more yards in every season of his career that he has played in at least 14 games. Between Henry, Brown, and Jones the Titans create an absolute nightmare situation for opposing defenses to try and match up with. They are in line for a monster season on offense.

1. Dallas Cowboys

In 2019, which was the last full season for quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys lead the NFL in offense by a very wide margin with 431.5 yards per game. In addition to the fact that they were about 24 yards per game clear of second place, they totaled the most offensive yards in a season by any team since the Denver Broncos in 2013. Before Prescott was injured in 2020 they were off to yet another scorching hot start for offensive production. In particular, Prescott was on an absolutely ridiculous pace that could have set a new single season record for passing yards if he did not get hurt. As long as he fully returns to health this season, the Cowboys should have another huge year on offense and could be even better than before with the addition of second year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. In the five games last season that Prescott started, Lamb registered 29 receptions for 433 yards and two touchdowns. This is a connection to watch this season and could really be something special moving forward. Of course, Prescott will also still have the luxury of his usual arsenal of weapons too with Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

Dark horse Super Bowl contenders in the AFC and NFC

The 49ers are back to being a threat

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

As the kickoff to the 2021 NFL season quickly approaches, it’s time to start really taking a look at what teams are built to make a Super Bowl run. There are certain teams on all radars such as the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Bucs, and Green Bay Packers but there are no sure things at all in the NFL. Every season is different and filled with surprises. There are always teams that exceed expectations as well as others that greatly disappoint. Looking past the top favorites, here are a few teams that have a realistic opportunity to be Super Bowl contenders this year.

NFC: Dallas Cowboys

The 2020 season was one to forget for the Cowboys but that is mostly because quarterback Dak Prescott was only able to play in five games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. In 2019 Prescott lead the Cowboys to be the top-ranked overall offense in the NFL at 431.5 yards per game, the second-ranked passing offense at 296.9 yards per game, and the sixth-ranked scoring offense at 27.1 points per game. It’s possible that these totals could be even higher in the 2021 NFL season with the addition of CeeDee Lamb to the returning weapons of Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. The defense has been an issue for the Cowboys, especially in the 2020 season where they were towards the bottom of the NFL in almost every category, but drafting Micah Parsons and signing Dan Quinn to be the new defensive coordinator should both greatly help to improve on that side of the ball. Finally, the Cowboys have the second easiest strength of schedule ranking this year so they have an excellent opportunity for a huge season.

NFC: San Francisco 49ers

Unfortunately, the 49ers season in 2020 was one that was defined by an endless list of injuries including key players like Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, and Nick Bosa. It was a very disappointing season, especially considering that they were the defending NFC Champions. Looking back to the 2019 season when they were healthy, they had the fourth-ranked total offense at 381.1 yards per game and the second-ranked scoring offense at 29.9 points per game to go with the second-ranked total defense at 281.8 yards allowed per game and eighth-ranked scoring defense at 19.4 points allowed per game. This obviously demonstrates not only how dominant they were but also their elite balance. They were towards the top of the NFL in just about every statistical measure and they have good reason to believe they can have a similar season in 2021 now that everyone is healthy again and they are returning the large majority of their roster.

AFC: Tennessee Titans

Possibly the biggest move of the entire NFL offseason was the Titans adding superstar wide receiver Julio Jones to their already potent offense. They were already the second-ranked total offense last season at 396.4 yards per game and will likely be much better this year with their new weapon. The Titans offense is going to create a huge problem for opposing defenses now that Jones is joining AJ Brown and Derrick Henry. In particular, the defending safeties are going to have to pick their poison. It’s impossible to double team both wide receivers as well as load the box to defend against the dominant rushing attack of Henry. If these three players, and also quarterback Ryan Tannehill, can all stay healthy this season the Titans are likely going to have a very special offense. Their defense was fifth-worst in the NFL last season at 398.3 yards allowed per game but they are hoping their added reinforcements, such as Bud Dupree and Caleb Farley, can help them improve on that side of the ball.

AFC: Pittsburgh Steelers

After finishing the 2020 season with a 12-4 record and winning the very tough AFC North division it’s a little strange to consider the Steelers a dark horse but that is exactly what they are. According to the Draft Kings Sports Book, they have only the 16th best odds to win the Super Bowl this year and their projected win total is just 9 games. This is interesting because they are returning all of their offensive weapons and the majority of their impact defenders as well. In addition, they probably upgraded at running back by drafting Najee Harris and will get back one of their best defenders, Devin Bush, who missed ten games last season. The biggest loss for the Steelers this offseason was to their offensive line, where they will basically have a brand new unit this year that is completely unproven. The Steelers are not getting much respect at all heading into the 2021 NFL season but as long as their blocking comes together, they can be right back in the mix again for a Super Bowl.

Expect the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the worst records in 2021

The worst NFL teams in 2021 will be…

By: Andy Davies

Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and Houston Texans going into the 2021 season. Their quarterback situations are far from clear and their overall rosters are mediocre at best.

The same goes for their head coaches, with all three going into their first seasons at the franchise. Neither of Dan Campbell, Nick Sirianni, or David Culley has been a full-time head coach in the NFL. Campbell is the only one to have some experience, with his spell as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015.

Here is why you should be expecting the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the three worst records in the league in 2021.

Saying Goodbye To A Franchise Legend In Detroit. Struggles For The Replacement

Matthew Stafford was the number one overall pick in 2009, with the entire city of Detroit hoping he would be the man to turn around the fortunes of the franchise. Despite three seasons of making the playoffs, the Lions and Stafford never won a single postseason game as the wait continues. The Lions remain the team with the second-longest period without a playoff win, their last taking place on January 5th, 1992.

Stafford had some great individual moments as a Lion, most notably his Mic’d up moment during his 2009 rookie season. In a week eleven game against the Cleveland Browns, he overcame injury to produce a moment of pure heroism. He played with a separated shoulder despite the efforts of the medical staff to keep him off the field, leading the Lions to a touchdown-winning drive.

Jim Caldwell guided the Lions to these playoff appearances but was not seen as good enough to take them to the next step. New England Patriots assistant head coach Matt Patricia was brought in but never took to life as head coach. The Lions had three consecutive losing seasons under the coaching of Patricia. They will hope that they have found their guy in Dan Campbell. His press conference was certainly not dull, with Campbell referring to “biting kneecaps”. As a former Lions player, he knows what it takes to play in the league. He also knows about the city of Detroit and his intentions are both positive and clear. If he is given time, he has the desire to bring the good times back to Detroit. However, he is inexperienced as a head coach and the roster is below average.

New quarterback Jared Goff has the potential to struggle. This is despite the drafting of offensive lineman Penei Sewell at seventh overall, a selection that had Campbell and new General Manager Brad Holmes very excited.

Despite his brilliant 2018 season that saw the Rams reach Super Bowl 53, Goff had a poor game and struggled in 2020 as he and head coach Sean McVay’s relationship deteriorated.

Goff struggled despite a plethora of offensive talent around him. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp form one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. He is going to a franchise that let go of their two best wide receivers and failed to replace them.

The Lions have a schedule that features the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns. There are also two games against their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago Bears. The Lions do not have it easy.

Prediction: 3-14

Trouble In Philadelphia; Reason For Hope?

The Eagles have seen three years of gradual decline after winning Super Bowl 52. The 2017 season saw the Eagles lift the Lombardi Trophy for the first time after two previous attempts.

Doug Pederson was the head coach to guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl but was fired after the conclusion of the 2020 season. His decision to bench rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts in order to lose and gain a higher draft pick appeared to be the final nail in the coffin.

Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season before an injury derailed hopes of winning the award. Backup Nick Foles stepped in and guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl 52 win. He also stepped in a year later and guided the Eagles to a shock Wildcard Round win against the Chicago Bears, with thanks also going to a Cody Parkey missed field goal.

Both Foles and Wentz are no longer Eagles players. Out of the starters in that Super Bowl 52 win, only seven remain with the franchise. Their decision to draft Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson continues to be mocked by rival fans and nobody knows how new head coach Nick Sirianni will do in the role.

The schedule is mixed for Philadelphia. Whilst they face the New York Jets, Lions, and twice play the New York Giants, they also have to face the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.. This is as well as facing a rising Washington Football Team twice as well as playing the Dallas Cowboys both home and away.

Reports have surfaced in recent days of the Philadelphia Eagles being the favourites for Deshaun, with talks said to be “heating up”.

This could be a move that transforms the franchise. However, Deshaun Watson had his best statistical season yet the Texans only managed four wins all year. This proves that whilst it is very important to have a good quarterback, you need more around to be successful.

Unless the Eagles do something in what remains of the offseason, they will continue to be mediocre if their roster continues to be this poor. If they get offensive or defensive talent in the next one or two offseasons, then they are a team that will compete for years to come. Otherwise, the Eagles will fail to be a threat to both the NFC and NFC East.

This is why Deshaun should avoid the Eagles at this present time. He will be going into a situation no different to what he experienced in Houston.

Prediction: 4-13

What A Difference A Year Makes

Where do we start with the Houston Texans? The 2019 season saw them take a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. However, they allowed 41 unanswered points as they lost 51-31. What has unfolded since in the following nineteen months has been reminiscent of a Greek tragedy.

Head coach Bill O’Brien, who also was general manager, made the unusual decision to trade star wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins. In exchange, the Texans received a running back past his sell-by date in David Johnson, one second-rounder and one fourth-round pick. O’Brien only lasted four games in the 2020 season as they finished the campaign with just four wins.

Since the conclusion of the 2020 season, franchise legend J.J Watt has left and there continues to be an uncertain future surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston’s quarterback requested a trade in January before allegations of sexual assault arose. These have lingered throughout the remainder of the offseason. It is unclear if Watson will play in the NFL at all in 2021 but even if he does, it is unlikely that he will be wearing a Texans jersey.

Houston has said they would listen to trade offers for Watson, with the franchise said to be wanting three first-round picks. They have also acquired Tyrod Taylor via Free Agency and used their first pick in the draft on Davis Mills in the third round. Even if the Eagles stick with Hurts, there will be plenty of other suitors.

Even with Watson, the Texans are light on the ground when it comes to elite talent. Linebacker Zach Cunningham and Laremy Tunsil are talents and despite adding Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram to the running back room, the roster is one of the league’s worst.

David Culley has developed somewhat of a worrying reputation after his time with the Eagles, Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens. During his fourteen-season spell with the Eagles, his four seasons with the Chiefs, and two years with the Ravens, he had 0 wide receivers earn a PFF grade of 80 or above.

The Chiefs wideouts went an entire season without a touchdown under Culley. With a wide receiver room featuring Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins and Anthony Miller, this is not exactly a position of strength for the Texans. Culley is unlikely to see any of these receivers score high PFF grades.

Whilst the Texans might be playing the Jacksonville Jaguars twice and the Jets, they have a tough schedule. They will face the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. Houston will also play the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans twice.

They are unlikely to win many of these games. Fans should be expecting a difficult season.

Prediction: 2-15

Why the Tennessee Titans can upend the Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee Titans are real Super Bowl contenders

By: Chris Thomas

Not too long ago the Tennessee Titans came within eleven points from completing their Cinderella story, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, and making the Super Bowl. Instead, the Chiefs went on to defeat the San Fransisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV and representing the AFC in the Super Bowl this past season. At this point, Kansas City appears to be the odds on favorite to win the AFC and appear in the Super Bowl for the third year in a row. However, the Tennessee Titans may have the best chance of making sure that doesn’t happen. Here is why the Chiefs should be considered with the Titans more than any other team in the AFC. 

Outstanding weapons 

It wouldn’t be shocking if Tennessee finished the season as the league’s number one offense. It would be extremely shocking if they finished outside the top-10. The Titans not only have the back-to-back rushing champion in Derrick Henry but they also have two Pro Bowl-caliber receivers in A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. The Titans acquired Jones from the Atlanta Falcons after the draft for a 2022 second-round pick. He is not only a replacement for Corey Davis, who signed with the Jets in free agency, he is a major upgrade. If the Titans’ three offensive playmakers stay healthy they should be able to rack up 1,000+ yards rushing/receiving. 

It is fair to say that the Titans have passed the Chiefs as the team with the best offensive skill players. The Chiefs along with the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two offensive skill players on their roster that are capable of being named All-Pro at the end of the year. The Titans are not only the only other team in the AFC in that category but are the only team with three players capable of being named All-Pro at the end of the year. Kansas City hasn’t played a team with as much if not more firepower as them in the Patrick Mahomes era. That will change this season when the two meet in Week 7. The Chiefs’ defense features a few great players like Chris Jones, Tyrann Mathieu, and Frank Clark. However at best they are middle of the pack and do not have enough talent on that side of the ball to minimize the production of all three. 

Ability to control the clock

The Super Bowl this past year exposed the weaknesses that the Kansas City Chiefs had not exposed to the rest of the league the last few years. The way to beat the Chiefs is with a stout pass rush, not allowing Patrick Mahomes to make dynamic plays, and keeping the ball out of the offense’s hands. The Buccaneers’ pass rush did not allow Mahomes to make plays downfield and he had to resort to checking the ball behind the line of scrimmage or tossing it up hoping his receivers were in a position to make a play. While Tom Brady and the offense were able to hold the ball to control the clock more than the Chiefs during that game. Holding onto the ball and taking advantage of their offensive opportunities allowed them to dominate the Chiefs the way they did during that game. 

The Titans are well equipped to control the clock better than any other team in the league. They have the league’s most dominant running back over the last two seasons in Derrick Henry and a quarterback who is extremely smart with the ball in Ryan Tannehill. They have the firepower to get a lead early then hand the ball off to Henry over and over until the clock runs out. That has been the Titans’ bread and butter over the last two seasons. That firepower was just Henry last year and now it is their elite offensive trio that could get the Titans a lead early in games. Henry averaged a career-high 5.4 yards per carry last season. So if need be the Titans can rely on Henry to get them a first down in two or three downs, keep the clock rolling, and keep the ball out of the opponent’s hands. 

A lesser-discussed part of the Titans offense is how efficient Tannehill has been as a passer. Since taking over he is well aware that the passing game comes second behind their rushing attack. So he does not feel the pressure to make big plays that other quarterbacks do. Tannehill has only thrown 13 interceptions over the last two seasons because he doesn’t have to make the risky plays other quarterbacks do. Rather than making big plays downfield, Tannehill could throw short passes to move the chains and keep the clock moving. 

Similar Quarterback Production

The Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is more than a game manager. He has shown the ability to make big plays and big moments, especially in the playoffs. In late December, CBS compared the statistics of Tannehill’s first 24 games as the Titans starter and Patrick Mahomes’ statistics last 24 games. The results of this comparison are shocking enough and help the argument that Tannehill should be considered one of the better quarterbacks in the league. 

Tannehill’s 114 passer rating beats Mahomes 105.9 passer rating during that span. However, Mahomes’ 6,983 passing yards is higher than Tannehill’s 6,080 passing yards. Shockingly Tannehill beat out Mahomes in total touchdowns with 61 to Mahomes’ 56. They both only threw 10 interceptions during that span. Finally, Tannehill had a higher completion percentage completing 67.7% of his passes while Mahomes completed 66.4% of his passes. If this was a competition Tannehill beat out Mahomes with a final score of 3-1-1 out producing him in three categories.

Now it is unlikely that Tannehill will join Mahomes in the best in the league conversation unless he takes home the league MVP this season. But the stats do show that the two are closer than many think. If it came to a battle of the better quarterback it may end up being a toss-up between the two.

Revamped Defense

This offseason the Titans have focused on retooling their defense. Last year the Titans’ defense was not good enough to get the team back to the AFC Championship. So they got rid of multiple starters including Jadeveon Clowney, Kenny Vaccaro, Adoree Jackson, Desmond King II, and Malcolm Butler. They went out and added big-name free agents like Bud Dupree, Denico Autry, and Janoris Jenkins. Then Tennesee drafted three defensive players with their first four selections including first-round pick Caleb Farley, second-round pick Monty Rice, and third-round pick Elijah Molden. 

It appears that Tennessee swapped out their strength in the secondary to increase the talent level of their pass rush. Four members of the Titans starting secondary were cut during free agency but they signed two high caliber pass rushers to go along with the pass rushers they already had on their roster. Harold Landry has had 14.5 sacks for Tennesee over the last two years and former first-round pick Jeffrey Simmons is closing in on becoming one of the best defensive tackles in the league after his play the last two seasons. Now the Titans added Dupree who could very well have double-digit sacks and be named to the Pro Bowl this season and one of the most underrated pass rushers in the league the last couple of seasons Denico Autry. Dupree has had 19.5 sacks over his last 27 games. While Autry discretely had 20 sacks over the last three seasons in Indianapolis. The Titans should have no problem getting after opposing quarterbacks next season and beyond. 

The reason why Tennessee may have changed the emphasis of their defense from an outstanding coverage team to a dominant pass rush likely has to do with the Super Bowl. Todd Bowles’s defense in Tampa Bay relies more on the play of their front seven than back seven. Their defensive line, pass rushers, and linebackers are all Pro Bowl-caliber players while their secondary is made up of young early draft picks who are capable of playing good enough coverage but are not considered lockdown. A defense with that makeup was able to defeat Tennessee’s biggest rival in Kansas City in the Super Bowl. So Titans’ general manager Jon Robinson decided to remake their defense in Tampa Bay’s image to get past the team standing between them and the Super Bowl. 

Why AJ Brown can be a Top 5 WR this year

AJ Brown is an elite WR for Tennessee Titans

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

Through just two seasons in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, AJ Brown has already made a big name for himself. He is a dominant force at the wide receiver position and has all of the tools to be absolutely elite. He is big and strong, measuring in at 6’1 and 226 pounds so he has the ability to overpower smaller coverage defenders while also possessing the speed and ball skills to be a deep threat as well. Now entering his third season out of Ole Miss, he is in an excellent position to take the next step forward. Here is why he can be a top 5 WR this year.

Increasing Production

In his first season in 2019, Brown was not only one of the best rookies in the NFL but one of the better wide receivers overall. He played in all 16 games while recording 52 receptions on 84 targets for 1051 yards and 8 touchdowns. One of the most impressive numbers was his massive 20.2 yards per reception including a career long catch of 91 yards. Additionally, he chipped in a big play in the rushing game with a 49 yard touchdown on the ground. He was consistently productive in a wide variety of routes and demonstrated that he was a home run threat any time the ball came his way.

Brown followed up his impressive rookie campaign with an an even better second season. He increased his total output for the season and actually did it in two fewer games than 2019. Across 14 games played he accumulated 70 receptions on 106 targets for 1075 yards and 11 touchdowns. If he had played the full 16 games his numbers obviously would have been even higher but either way he still improved from one year to the next. This upward trend strongly suggests that he could be in line for a monster 2021 season.

Offensive Scheme

The way that the Titans operate on offense is beneficial to the style of play for Brown. With Derrick Henry being so dominant in the rushing game, demonstrated by his 2000 yard season last year, the opposing defense has to respect the run and bring extra players around the line of scrimmage to help slow him down. When the safeties have to come forward and can’t drop deep into coverage all the time, it opens the door for Brown to get behind the defense and make those big plays. The rushing attack of Henry also opens up the play action passing game for Ryan Tannehill, where he is most comfortable and does his best work. This is where Brown has been able to do a large part of his damage.

The Julio Jones Effect

One of the biggest moves of the entire NFL offseason was the Titans acquiring Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, he was not able to stay healthy last year so his numbers were very down, but before that he was on an insane stretch of six straight seasons of at least 1394 receiving yards or more. He eclipsed 100 receptions in three of those seasons and had at least six receiving touchdowns in five of them. He has statistically been one of the best and most consistent wide receivers over the last decade.

On the surface, it may seem like Jones would steal some targets away from Brown but that is unlikely to be the case. The Titans lost both Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith to free agency so most of their target share will be replaced by Jones. The real benefit that Brown gets from the arrival of Jones is the dilemma that it puts opposing defenses in. They already have to respect the rushing game of Henry and now they will have their hands full trying to account for both Jones and Brown.

All things considered, adding the superstar Jones to the wide receiving core does not at all take away from the projections for Brown but actually make them even higher. The Titans offense is now a match up nightmare for opposing defenses and should provide plenty of opportunities for Brown to thrive. He will see more single coverage this year than previously and that’s a dangerous situation for his opponents. Brown looks ready to take a big leap forward this year and can be among the very best wide receivers in the entire NFL.

Top 3 Landing Spots for Kenny Stills

What team will Kenny Stills play for this season?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

One of the top remaining NFL free agents who have yet to sign with a team for this upcoming season is Kenny Stills. The 29-year-old speedster could definitely help a team looking to stretch a defense and he should come at a relatively cheap price for his services. He has carved out a solid career for himself as a deep threat through 8 seasons spread out across the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, and Houston Texans.

His reputation as a home run hitter is verified by his statistical measures. For his career, he has an impressive 15.6 yards per reception to go along with 37 touchdowns across 117 games played. The longest reception of his career was for 76 yards and he has recorded multiple receptions for over 60 yards. He is a true vertical threat for whatever offense he is a part of and he has the numbers to prove it.

As the offseason continues to wind down to the kickoff of the 2021 NFL regular season, teams are finalizing their rosters by adding finishing pieces and applying the final touches. Kenny Stills will be an immediate contributor for the team that decides to acquire him for their upcoming campaign. These are his top 3 landing spots.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are a team that is in the middle of a complete rebuild. Most notably, they will enter this upcoming season with a brand new head coach in Dan Campbell as well as a new quarterback in Jared Goff after a blockbuster trade that sent long-time starter Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions also lost their top two wide receivers from last year, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, to free agency.

In a brand new passing offense, the Lions have filled out their wide receiver room with a mix of youth and veterans. They drafted Amon-Ra St. Brown out of USC and Sage Surratt from Wake Forest while also signing veterans such as Breshad Perriman and Tyrrell Williams. In addition, they brought in Jamaal Williams who is a running back that is very effective in the passing game. It’s not exactly an elite group by any means but the organization is at least trying to help their new quarterback by adding targets around him.

Kenny Stills would not only be a huge help for the Lions, but he would arguably be the best wide receiver on their roster if they do decide to sign him. The biggest way he would help them is by opening up the field for their two featured players on offense, tight end TJ Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift. The vertical threat of Stills forces the opposing defense to play further back, which would result in more space to operate underneath. Stills is a good fit in Detroit and would likely get a decent target share.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans are a team that has made the postseason in consecutive years but is now looking to take the next step. They want to go from a playoff team to a Super Bowl contender so they decided it was time to tweak their offense. They did so by making a huge trade with the Atlanta Falcons and acquiring Julio Jones, who is one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL. This brings their offense to a new level and creates some serious match-up problems for opposing defenses.

Jones will join a staff of offensive weapons that already includes AJ Brown and Derrick Henry. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is most effective in the play-action passing game which is set up by the dominant running game of Henry, who is the defending rushing yardage champion. The major problem that Jones is going to create for defenses is where the safety help will go. Leaving either Brown or Jones in constant single coverage is a losing proposition and without a stacked box versus the rushing game, Henry is going to have his way.

This nightmare situation for the opposition is going to cause them to pick their poison in many scenarios. It will be extremely difficult to keep Henry, Brown, and Jones all accounted for but the Titans have an opportunity to further improve their offensive personnel by adding Stills. The only thing really missing from their current scheme is that true vertical threat and that is exactly what Stills specializes in.

If the current situation causes serious issues to defenses, then adding Stills will bring it to another level. The safeties would be forced to respect his speed in the deep game because if they don’t then Stills will burn them for huge chunks of yardage. This would open up the field for both Jones and Brown to operate at will while also creating more rushing lanes for Henry. They have real potential to be a top-five offense this season, as well as a true contender in the AFC, and Stills could help them get there.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are coming off a strange year in which they finished the season 8-8 but still made the playoffs. They have one of the better defenses in the league but their offense left much to be desired last season. A big reason for that was the abysmal play at the quarterback position between both Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles. Determined to fix this serious problem, they signed veteran Andy Dalton and drafted their quarterback of the future in Justin Fields out of Ohio State.

The Bears do have some bright spots on offense including a star receiver in Allen Robinson, a breakout running back in David Montgomery, a dynamic Tarik Cohen, and a receiver with potential in Darnell Mooney. All of these weapons were already on their roster, so they haven’t really done much to improve offensively this offseason besides the big changes at quarterback. This is where they have an opportunity to bring in something new and fresh like Stills.

The skillset of Stills is something that the Bears roster does not currently have. There is nobody on offense to truly stretch the field in the way that Stills can. His game would greatly help their offense in a variety of ways including more rushing lanes for Montgomery, screen opportunities for Cohen, and taking some of the pressure off of Robinson to create everything on his own against constant double coverage. Finally, and maybe most importantly, is what it could do for Fields. He was an excellent deep passer in college so Stills could help unlock that weapon for him on the NFL level.

Where do the Titans stand in the AFC with Julio? A breakdown of the AFC

By: Reese Nasser

The Tennessee Titans have added future hall of fame wide receiver Julio Jones to their offense. The dynamic wide receiver has crafted a career that will make him go down as one of the greatest players to ever step on the field. The seven-time Pro Bowler will look to help the Titans make a legitimate push for a super bowl run. 

The Titans have built an offense that has three of the most explosive players in the NFL. Running back Derrick Henry can quite literally carry a team to victory. Young wide receiver A.J. Brown is arguably a top-10 player at the position and is just now entering his third season in the NFL. And well, Julio is Julio. His work has spoken for itself up to this point. 

But where do the Titans stand in the entirety of the AFC? Where do they measure up to the rest of the teams? Let’s take a look at the competition and breakdown all 16 teams in the AFC. 

The Non-Contenders (For Now)

Let’s start with the teams that are near the bottom of the division. Each team here has a distinct issue that causes them to be labeled as a non-contender. Whether that be problems at the quarterback position, a young roster, or gaps at valuable positions, none of these teams are prepared to make the jump to the top of the division just yet. 

Houston Texans 

The Houston Texans have assembled what may be the worst roster in football. This is not at the fault of the players themselves, but instead the fault of the front office. 

The team has gone all in at certain positions and left others untouched. There are currently six rostered running backs and each has a legitimate shot at making the final roster.
After adding running back David Johnson in the gigantic Deadre Hopkins trade last season, the Texans have gone on to add even more running backs to this roster. Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsey, and Rex Burkhead were all added to the team this off-sesaon. 

It is looking as if three-time pro bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson will not be suiting up for the Texans this season. As everyone knows, the former Clemson star quarterback currently has 22 active lawsuits against him ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior. Due to these allegations and Watson’s expected absence from the team, we will act as if he is not a Texans player in this scenario. 

The QB position in Houston will be a problem this upcoming season. Veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor is the current QB1 for this team. Taylor may end up being one of the most unlikely players in NFL history. He is clearly talented but freak injuries have led to him losing his job on two different occasions in the last few seasons. Taylor started for the Los Angeles Chargers last season but suffered a punctured lung after receiving a shot to help manage pain. The punctured lung forced him to the bench and rookie QB Justin Herbert came in for relief and the Chargers never looked back. 

After not having a selection in the draft until the third round, the Texans chose to draft Stanford quarterback Davis Mills. While Mills could be the future QB for the Texans, they could have addressed positions that lacked depth and could help improve the team now. 

All in all, this Texans team is a mess. There seems to be no plan or future for the franchise. Instead, it is a collection of veterain players who may just be looking at an opportunity to improve on their stock and find new teams next season.

New York Jets

The New York Jets are full of hope. The trajectory of the team is going upwards but they are not in win now mode. The roster is full of young players, and if developed properly, could become a top team in the NFL.

The Jets chose to make a change at the quarterback position. They shipped Sam Darnold away and took his replacement with the second overall pick. Zach Wilson, former BYU quarterback, is set to be the future of the Jets. 

New York has already surrounded Wilson with more talent than Darnold ever had. They are slowly assembling an offensive line that could become the best in the league. Last year’s first round pick, Mekhi Becton has the size and athleticism to be the best left tackle in football. Alijah Vera-Tucker, who the Jets took with the 14th pick in this year’s draft, is the left guard of the future. Wilsons blind side will be protected and he should flourish sooner rather than later. 

The Jets have also put together a nice receiving group. WR1 will be former Titans receiver Corey Davis. Davis had his best season last year and showed that he has what it takes to be a capable target. They also selected Ole Miss Elijah Moore. Moore has been described as a “smaller A.J. Brown”. His athletic play could lead to a nice 1-2 punch for this wide receiver room. 

There is also a new head coach in New York. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator will be taking the reins of the Jets. His defensive mind could help this unit develop and be truly great.

The Jets are most likely a few years away from success but the foundation has been placed. The future is bright but it is still far off.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence. Urban Meyer. Jacksonville has made moves this off-season. They found a quarterback in Lawrence who is destined to be an all-time great. The excavations will be sky high for Lawrence, who is said to be the best QB coming into the league since the now retired Andrew Luck. 

Urban Meyer has had a long career and now has his eyes set on success in the NFL. He has put together a team full of players that he likes. Will this translate to success? Who knows. There is no guarantee that Lawrence will become this hall of fame quarterback. There is also no guarantee that Meyer will be successful in Jacksonville.

This Jaguars team is drastically different from the team that almost made a run at the super bowl just a few seasons ago. Very few players from that squad still remain. Many of the expected playmakers on this team are still very young. This means that they will have time to develop and learn. The Jaguars are in this for the long-term and instant success should not be expected.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos are a team that could be on the verge of success in the AFC. They have a roster that consists of great veteran players. The defense could be great. They are led by three-time all-pro linebacker Von Miller who will be coming back from a torn Achilles. The offense has strengths all over. A good group of young receivers, a strong running back in Melvin Gordon, and a rising tight end in Noah Fant. 

Everything on this team looks good on paper. Everything besides the quarterback position, and that is what is keeping this team as a non-contender. 

Young quarterback Drew Lock, while proven to be exciting to watch, has not yet achieved much of anything yet. He was 4-9 in his 13 starts last season and threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. 

Lock’s inconsistent team led the Broncos to trade for veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. While Bridgewater has proven to be a resilient QB, coming back from a devastating knee injury, he has also had poor production at the QB position. He, much like Lock, has looked good at times and at other times, has looked abysmal. But, the job could be jis to take. 

Uncertainty at the QB spot hurts this team. A team full of this much talent should be much more of a threat and a new QB might be in the future of the Broncos. 

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals may just be the team that makes the leap. They have the foundation to do just such. 

Quarterback Joe Burrow was on pace to have a historic rookie season until he suffered a torn ACL. But, Burrow has looked solid in his recovery and will look to make an impact as soon as the season begins. He is proving to be the leader that this team needs.

They have also built a very strong roster in Cincinnati. The wide receiver group may be regarded as a top-five unit by season’s end. Tyler Boyd, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are a trio that could explode this season. 

The defense has also made improvements since last season. The Bengals brought in Trey Hendrikcson, who recorded 13.5 sacks last season. They also drafted a quality definite end in Joseph Ossai. There are still holes on this defense and that could hurt the development of this team as well. 

The offensive line unit could prove to be the team’s true downfall. Burrow was under duress often last season and the Bengals did not make a massive change to this unit. If Burrow is not able to get the ball to his weapons on offense, then there is no point in even having them. 

The Bengals, led by Burrow, could soon take over the NFL. They just aren’t there, just yet. 

Teams with Potential

The teams in this section have potential. They each could make a jump into the next tier, but for now, they are unproven and haven’t done enough to be placed there yet. 

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are coming off of one their best seasons in recent years. The team finished with a 10-6 record and overall, looked and played very well. 

The Dolphins have made it a point of emphasis to keep their roster together. They also brought in both rookies and free agents that are expected to make an instant impact. They obviously wanted to surround young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with as many playmakers as they could.  

In maybe their best signing of the off-season, Miami brought in wide receiver Will Fuller on a one-year deal. Fuller, who is coming off of a career season, will be forced to miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension. But, upon his return, could be exactly what Tua needs. A strong deep field threat who can be a top-10 reciever in the league. 

The Dolphins also added Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to the team. Waddle, Tua’s former teammate at Bama, will look to make an instant impact and help Tua improve in his second season. 

The defense will be the anchor of this team heading into next season. They are a strong unit led by cornerback Xavien Howard who hauled in 10 interceptions last season. They also added defense and Jaelen Phillips in the draft. He will be a day one starter and could help this defense get even better. 

The Dolphins could make a legitimate run but it will rely heavily on the shoulders of Tua. If he is able to perform better than he did last year, which he is expected to do, the Dolphins could be on the verge of making it to the top-tier. But that is still yet to happen.

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are a team that could shock many come the start of the season. They have spent big money on both sides of the ball and have seemingly gone all in on this season.

New England signed big time free agents Matt Judon, Hunter Henry, and Jonnu Smith. The addition of both tight ends can be related directly to Cam Newton being the quarterback. Newton has achieved success when he has two strong tight ends so the Patriots brought that back to him.

The defense, while young in some areas, could still be a top unit in the league. Veteran players are littered throughout the defense and will be ready to go come week one. 

An issue that plagued the Patriots last season was opt-outs due to covid. Many of these players have returned and will be ready to make an impact. 

Cam Newton has the QB1 job for now but the Patriots did select Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round. All eyes will be on Newton and if he slips up, the job could be lost before he knows it. 

The direction that this season goes will be directly dictated by the offense. The offense struggled often last season and was their downfall in multiple games. With a retooled init, they should look different and perform better. But, for how they are only banking on potential. This is why they aren’t seen as a contender just yet. 

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are a very interesting team to look at. Newly brought in quarterback, Carson Wentz, will look to prove that he can still perform at a high level. After coming off of his worst season since his rookie year, all eyes will be on him and he will be the reason that their season goes the way that it does. 

The offense line, outside of Wentz, may be the most important piece of this offense. Led by guard Quenton Nelson, the line will be expected to perform every snap.

Running back Jonathon Taylor will be expected to expand on his strong rookie year and jis success will be directly related to this offensive line. They will also play a role in how Wentz performs. The blocking and protection for Wentz will allow for him to make plays and help this team.

The defensive unit is one of the best in the league. If young players such as rookie Kwity Paye can make an instant impact, this team could make their way to the top tier of the AFC. 

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders have remained an average team for the past few seasons. They have had moments of real potential where they look as if they can compete for a super bowl, and then they regress again. Their 8-8 record in 2020 is very fitting for how this team performs. 

Quarterback Derek Carr is the poster child of how this team has been since he has become the QB1. He has a starting record of 47-63. The mediocrity of Carr hasn’t necessarily even been what has harmed this team. While his record is not great, he has still performed on the field. He has thrown 170 touchdowns to 71 interceptions. The failure and success of the Raiders can’t fall directly onto Carr’s shoulder. 

The Raiders have made odd selections in the draft. They have continued to select players much higher than they should be taken and many of them have struggled to make the transition to the NFL. 

Even through all of this, the Raiders have continued to be competitive. They have a strong roster that could become great. Led by tight end Darren Waller, this unit has potential. This could be the year where they are able to finally flip the switch and begin to be better than average.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsurgh Steelers started the 2020 season off with 11 straight wins. They were running on all cylinders and looked to be headed towards a legitimate run at the super bowl. 

And then the Steelers lost their final five games. The losing streak extended into the playoffs where the Cleveland Browns dominated Pittsburgh at every level of the game. 

Even with such a poor ending to the season, the Steelers could still be a team to watch heading into this upcoming season. They will rely heavily on their skill players on offense, specifically the wide receiver group. 

It also can be ignored that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is getting older. He recently turned 39 years old and has shown some signs of slowing down. His arm strength has begun to lack in recent years and the Steelers have had to build around that. While he has made efforts to fix his arm, there is no guarantee that it will help in this upcoming season. 

Rookie running back Najee Harris will also look to carry much of the offensive workload. The Steelers brought him in to be a workhorse back and he seems to be up for the challenge. 

The Steelers offensive line will be where they struggle. They have one of the worst rated lines in football and have not made any efforts to improve it. If the line is unable to block, the whole season may be lost.

The Pittsburgh defense may be the best part of the team. The defense, led by T.J. Watt, performed extremely well and for much of the season, were the reason that they were winning as many games as they did. 

The performance in the last quarter of the season has led to the Steelers no longer being a true contender. The issues on the team are glaring and while the Steelers could perform well, for now they just have potential. 

Tennessee Titans

We have finally arrived at the Tennessee Titans. The Titans, while choosing to add Julio Jones, still have issues with this roster. 

Yes, the defense has been rebuilt and they will be running a new scheme, but there is guarantee that the defense will be solid. They could look like they did last year and underperform. The Titans will also have to ease this defense in. They have potential but are still very unproven.

The offensive side of the ball is currently the saving grace of this team. The trio of Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones could make this offense become one of the best units in the NFL. 

Led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, this offense will be expected to carry this team on their back. A.J. Brown had the best season of his career last year while playing alongside Corey Davis. Now Davis has been swapped with Julio. No knock against Davis, but Julio is an all-time receiver and is an upgrade at the position. This added piece of offense could completely change the layout of this team. 

Running back Derrick Henry was able to still surpass 2,000 rushing yards last season. The addition of Julio will give him even more running room as defenses will not be able to key in on Henry. 

The Titans could become a top tier team in the AFC but their defense holds the fate of the team in their hands. If the defense performs even just average, this team will have an opportunity. But, there are questions on this defense that still aren’t answered. The reliance on that unit could make this entire season crumble. This is why they aren’t a contender just yet, but instead a middle of the pack AFC team. 

The True Contenders

The big ballers of the AFC. These five teams could all be legitimate super bowl contenders. Each could bring a lombardi trophy joke and no one would be particularly shocked. Here is the group with an explanation of why they are deserving of being here. 

Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers may be the most shocking group on this list. They finished with a 7-9 record last season and failed to make the playoffs. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. 

When looking deeper at the Chargers, you see a young team that was repeatedly hindered by injuries last season. Star defensive end Joey Bosa appeared in 12 games but dealt with injuries for much of the season. Safety Derwnin James, who could be one of the best secondary players in the NFL, missed the entire season due to a knee injury. Running back Austin Ekeler, who is a prominent player on this offense, missed six games last season and never performed to his normal standard when he was healthy. All three of these players will return to the field, healthy and ready to make an impact.

The Chargers also made moves in free agency by signing both defensive tackle Linval Joseph and center Corey Linsley. Linsley, who is arguably the best center in the NFL, will be an anchor of this offensive line. 

Los Angeles also spent their first round pick on left tackle Rashawn Slater. Slater will be a day one starter and will help protect Herbert’s blindside. 

The true key factor of the Chargers season will be Justin Herbert. The second year quarterback is an MVP favorite and will lead the Chargers team. The offensive rookie of the year will look to build on a rookie season that saw him throw 31 touchdown passes. He will dictate how this season goes, but he has proven that he should be built for this. 

The Chargers have done nearly everything right. A young quarterback on a rookie contract. An offense full of talented skill players and a solid offensive line. And a defense that could be one of the best in the NFL. This team is a true contender and will look to prove that in 2021. 

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will look to build on a season that saw them go 13-3 in 2020. They have built a solid foundation, led by coach Sean McDermott. There is a new culture in Buffalo and they are quickly becoming a team that many people root for. 

The Bills season came to an end in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship. Up until that loss, the Chiefs looked unbeatable. They will look to build on the 2020 season and have a bright 2021. 

The dynamic duo of Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs will look to pick up right where they left off last season. Diggs finished the season with 127 receptions and 1,535 receiving yards, first in the league in both stats. Diggs and Allen have found a clear connection and will undoubtedly look even better together next season. 

At times the defense struggled but is overall a solid group. They will also be even better heading into 2021. 

This unit remains very much unchanged since last season. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, dont fix it.” This Bills team is far from broken and should be looked at heavily to win the super bowl. A true contender coming out of Buffalo. 

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a 2020 season where they finished with a record of 11-5 and second in the AFC West. They played well and for much of the season, the offense was firing on all cylinders. They scored more than 30 points in nine games and were explosive when they wanted to be.

Much of this offensive success can be credited towards quarterback Lamar Jacksoj. Just one year removed from his MVP season, Lamar proved to still be capable of performing and performing well. The third year quarterback put up 33 touchdowns last season and still proved to be an effective running threat, surpassing 1,000 rushing yards for the second consecutive season. 

While Lamar had less touchdowns in 2020 than he did in 2019, he is still the leader in Baltimore. He is the guy on that tem and no one is taking that title from him. At times he played like a superhero, making plays out of nothing and single handedly moved the team up the field.
The Ravens have also surrounded Lamar with even more weapons. The Ravens address the wide receiver position in this year’s draft, selecting two receivers in the first four rounds: Rashod Bateman out of the University of Minnesota and Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State. 

Rashod Bateman could fill the role of WR1 for this team, something they have not truly had during Lamar’s tenure with the team. If Bateman can become a high caliber receiver, the Ravens offense can become even better. 

First year running back J.K. Dobbins played a pivotal role in the success of the Ravens offense last season. His nine rushing touchdowns helped this offense be one of the highest scoring groups last season. 

The defense Baltimore has assembled is also a force to be reckoned with. They have established players at nearly every position and there is no glaring weakness within this unit. The potential of this unit is unmatched and they could arguably make a case for the best defense in the NFL. 

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns were a top team all throughout last season. Quarterback Baker Mayfeld orved to be the real deal. Both the offense and defense performed at a high level and looked good on a consistent basis. 

So what did the Browns do this off-season? Well, they went out and got even better. Through both the draft and free agency, the Browns grabbed players that could make an instant impact. 

Their 2021 draft was regarded as maybe the best of any team in the NFL. In the first round, the Browns selected cornerback Greg Newsome II out of Northwestern. In the second round, they selected Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The Browns added notable players such as Jadaveon Clowney, John Johnson III, Troy Hill, and Takkarist Mckinley. Clowney, Johnson III, and Hill will all be starters on this defense. Clowney will play alongside star defensive end Myles Garret. 

The secondary that is assembled here may be the best in the NFL. Denzel Ward, Troy Hill, John Johson III, and Ronnie Harison Jr are slated to be the starters. This means that Greg Newsome II, Grant Delpit, and Greedy Williams will all be available in backup roles. These players will all play massive roles on this team. 

Injuries were an issue for the Browns last season. Many high caliber players were forced to miss time. The already mentioned Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams were both sidelined during last season. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr suffered a torn ACL and it is still undetermined when exactly he will be ready to go, but from what has been shown lately, he looks to be on the right path to being 100% again.

This Browns roster may be the most complete unit in the NFL. It is win now time for the Browns and they are set to do just that. There is only one team that can get in their way. 

Kansas City Chiefs

The AFC still runs through the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have made it to the superbowl for two straight seasons and they don’t look to be slowing down. As long as Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback in Kansas City, they will have a chance.

Not much needs to be said regarding the Chiefs. Their high powered offense has returned and ready to show that they haven’t slowed down. Mahomes is healthy again. The team has come back and are ready to run it up again. 

They lost to the super bowl largely to a depleted offensive line. A string of injuries and forced out of position play proved to be their downfall. So what did the Chiefs do? They crafted an offensive line that is arguably even better than the one they sent out last season. The Chiefs traded for Orlando Brown Jr., who has proven to be a top-five tackle in the NFL. They signed guard Joe Thuney, one of the best receivers in the NFL, and center Austin Blythe. These are three new starters for this offensive line. 

But the Chiefs were not done yet. With their second round selection, they took center Creed Humphrey from the University of Oklahoma. They then pulled retired guard Kyle Long out of retirement. 

They chose to also improve their defense through the draft. They selected linebacker Nick Bolton out of Missouri in the second round. Outside of Bolton, much of the defense from last year is returning and will be ready to go.

This Chiefs team will be just as good as they were last season and the AFC will be theirs to lose. A true contender and a team that could find their way to another super bowl sooner rather than later. 

Titans offensive outlook with Julio Jones

Julio Jones will join Derrick Henry in a lethal Titans offense

By: Reese Nasser

It has finally happened, The Atlanta Falcons have traded wide receiver Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans. The seven-time pro bowler cost the Titans a second round selection in 2022 and a fourth rounder in 2023. 

Julio will now be added to a Titans team that went 11-5 last season and finished first in the AFC South. He will also be joining an offense that already has a rising star in wide receiver A.J. Brown and an all-time running back in Derrick Henry. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has also found his spot in the NFL with the Titans and has begun to look like a top-tier QB.

The duo of Brown and Henry combined for 3,216 yards from scrimmage last season. Brown hauled in 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns over 14 games last season. Henry had one of the greatest rushing performances ever with 17 rushing touchdowns and over 2,000 rushing yards. 

Julio appeared in just nine games last season but proved to still be a threat and a legitimate number one receiver. In those nine games, he caught three touchdown passes and had 771 receiving yards on just 51 receptions. 

If Julio can return to the form that he was in during the 2019 season this Titans offense can be a juggernaut and one of the best, if not the best, offense in the league. Here’s what the addition of Julio can do for this Titans offense. 

A.J. Brown Potential

A.J. Brown has proven to be a top talent in the NFL since his rookie season in 2019. After a fantastic season stat wise in his first year, Brown improved in nearly every way during his second season. His 11 touchdown receptions ranked tied for fifth in the NFL. Brown grabbed 70 receptions last season while being the main receiving threat. He should see an increase in both receptions and touchdowns with Julio playing alongside him.

Julio, throughout his entire career, has been the focal point on offense and receives the bulk of the attention. Brown has received this sort of treatment during his time in Tennessee. With both players being legitimate number one receivers, defenses will be forced to figure out how to defend them. On any given play, one of the two should be able to make a big play.

With apparent claims that Julio wanted to play with a quarterback that can push the ball down field, he has gotten that with Tannehill. 

Tannehill has proven that he can push the ball down the field and both Julio and Brown have shown that they can make plays down the field. Julio will allow for the offense to stretch the field even more. With how accurate Tannehill is when throwing the deep ball, both Julio and Brown should produce even more big plays down the field. 

More Running Room

Titans running back Derrick Henry became just the seventh rusher in NFL history to surpass 2,000 rushing yards in a season. He has crafted an all-time career up to this point. There came a point over the course of last season where teams were able to stack the defensive box due to a lack of offensive threats on the Titans. That won’t be possible now with both Julio and Brown on either side of the field. A box of seven or eight defenders with only three to four players in the secondary will be shredded by this offense. 

While it is unlikely that Henry will reach the sought after 2,000 yards rushing again, he will most definitely benefit from the addition of Julio. The added talent on offense will not only take carries off of Henry but will also give him more opportunities to make plays. The field will undoubtedly be stretched and Henry will flourish off of the space that defines will be forced to give him. 

The NFL should be put on notice with this trade. With the addition of Julio, the Titans are true threats to bring a super bowl to Tennessee. This revamped offense with a completely rebuilt defense could be a terror for opposing teams. The team will look much different than what we saw at season end. Improvements have been made throughout the roster. Expect every skill player on the offensive side of the ball to see improvements in some aspect of their game. A.J. Brown said it best. 

Top 3 Landing Spots for Justin Houston

What team will Justin Houston play for next season?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

It is now the back half of the NFL offseason and there are still some big-name free agents that are without a team for the 2021 season. One of the best available remaining players is edge rusher Justin Houston. He is now 32 years old but has shown in recent years that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Over the last four years combined he has recorded 37.5 sacks, including a minimum of eight sacks in each of those seasons and a high of 11 in 2019. That’s not quite as impressive as his career-high of 22 sacks back in 2014 but it clearly demonstrates that he still has the ability to contribute in a big way.

The ideal landing spot for Houston in this upcoming season is a contending team that could use some help in the pass-rushing department. He could help a win-now team take a step to the next level. Additionally, his age would imply that his price tag should be relatively reasonable. In comparison, Ryan Kerrigan, who is the same age as Houston, just recently signed with the Eagles on a one-year contract worth 2.5 million guaranteed. Houston will likely be looking to get more than that, but he will not break the bank for interested candidates now that the market has been set. All things considered, here are his top three landing spots.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are a team that is looking to improve their pass rush. They were middle of the road last season, ranked 16th in the NFL with 38 team sacks. They did use a first-round draft pick on Gregory Rousseau and a second-round pick on Carlos Basham, which demonstrates that it was an area of focus this offseason. Houston would not only give them an established pass rusher to help them win now but would also assist in the development of the younger players in the position group.

The Bills are a real Super Bowl contender this season, but if they could improve their pass rush they would become a whole new level of competitor. Houston could help them do exactly that. After recently restructuring the contract of Stefon Diggs, they have some available cap space to play with, and this may be the best way for them to use it.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have done a great job in recent years building their offense, but this offseason they have focused on improving their defense. They know they have to be better on that side of the ball if they want to improve from a playoff team to a real contender. They were fifth-worst in the NFL last season in yards allowed per game with 398.3 and ninth-worst in points allowed per game with 27.4. Knowing they have to be better than that, they made moves this offseason in an attempt to improve defensively including adding Bud Dupree and drafting Caleb Farley.

Pass rush is a particular area that they struggled in, recording the third least team sacks in the NFL last season with just 19 total. Adding Dupree will help that number, but pairing him with Houston would provide a significant jump in that category. They would potentially go from one of the worst teams in the league at pass rushing to one of the better ones, and that would be a wise move for a team trying to contend this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are a team that did not struggle at all in rushing the passer last year. They had the most sacks in the NFL with 56 total. The problem is that they lost Bud Dupree this offseason to free agency. He was an extremely important part of their defensive scheme and they do not have a proven replacement on their roster. Having a complementary pass rusher to play opposite of superstar TJ Watt is crucial to their philosophy of pressure defense.

Houston could definitely solve this problem. He is a piece that would allow them to continue their defensive dominance, which is a staple of their organization. The Steelers believe that they are Super Bowl contenders this season, so if Houston believes that as well then this could be a perfect fit. They currently have around 8 million in available cap space so they have more than enough to sign him.

3 NFL Trades that still need to happen

This NFL offseason is far from over.

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

June 1st is a key date on the NFL offseason calendar. Players that are either cut or traded after this date require less dead cap money for their former team in the current year. This is why teams often wait until after June 1st to move on from certain players on the roster. Now that the date has passed, some of the big names on the trade market have a much better chance of actually being moved. Blockbuster deals can now transform from rumors to stories. Let’s take a look at three trades that need to happen.

Aaron Rodgers to the Broncos

There is no name bigger than Aaron Rodgers when it comes to players that could potentially be traded before the start of the upcoming 2021 season. He is the reigning NFL MVP and one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. At 37 years old, he is still in the prime of his career and would give any team a realistic shot to win a Super Bowl immediately. He has spent his entire career with the Packers, but he has grown increasingly upset with the organization and has demanded a trade.

Whether or not the Packers actually trade him is yet to be seen. They technically do not have to but if Rodgers is serious that he would rather sit out than play for them, they should maximize his value and a get huge haul in return via trade. The Broncos are one team that would almost definitely be interested and would likely give up whatever is necessary to get it done. They have been searching for an answer at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired and this would more than solve that problem.

The Broncos are a destination that makes sense not only because of their desire for an elite quarterback but also because they are a complete team everywhere else and ready to win now. QB is the only real thing that is missing so with Rodgers they would immediately become a Super Bowl contender. He would have plenty of weapons on offense including Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Melvin Ingram, and Javonte Williams. Pair that with their very solid defensive unit and they are a real threat to win it all this year if Rodgers is playing quarterback.

Julio Jones to the Titans

It appears almost certain that Julio Jones is going to be traded away from the Falcons. He is being openly shopped around for the best potential deal that would both benefit his future and what the Falcons receive in return. One team that Jones has admitted that he is very interested in joining is the Titans. This destination makes a ton of sense because the Titans lost Corey Davis to free agency and have a bit of a need at wide receiver. Few are capable of filling that hole better than Julio Jones. Pairing him with superstar AJ Brown would be a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses.

Brown and Jones are both physically dominating wide receivers with deep threat abilities as well. They both usually require double teams or safety help at least, so it would be a major problem for opponents trying to scheme up ways to keep both of them covered. To further complicate things, they still have Derrick Henry at running back who absolutely destroys defenses that don’t load the box. All of these reasons combined would make the Titans offense an extremely difficult puzzle to solve if they do indeed trade for Julio Jones. It could realistically boost them from a playoff team to a real Super Bowl contender.

Zach Ertz to the Cardinals

There are two main reasons why the Eagles may be looking to trade their superstar tight end, Zach Ertz. First, they are a rebuilding team and Ertz is a veteran that could bring back draft capital in the trade market. Second, they already have the younger Dallas Goedert on their roster who is a very talented tight end. All things considered, it makes sense why the Eagles would deal him and the Cardinals are a team that just may be interested.

The Cardinals have fully committed to surrounding their young star quarterback Kyler Murray with as many weapons as possible to give him the best chance to succeed. They traded for Hopkins last year and followed that up this year by adding AJ Green and James Conner. Their offense is loaded but the one thing missing is a reliable tight end so that is where Ertz could come in. The Cardinals do not necessarily need another offensive weapon but they have already shown that they are willing to go above and beyond for Murray. Therefore, it would not be surprising at all if they made this move.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑